Social media is a key communication and engagement tool – read some top tips for using social media

Over the past number of years social media has evolved from being a technological fad to an integral communication tool for businesses and individuals.

As more and more businesses switch-on to the benefits of social media it is important to know what tactics to adopt to maximise the potential of the medium.

A selection of organisations in Northern Ireland have shared their top tips for using social media.
Top tips for social media

2013 World Police & Fire Games – @2013WPFG
Engage with people, chat, speak their language. If you walked into a pub and shouted your company messages, would people respond favourably? They won’t on twitter either.

nidirect – @nidirect
Social media is about effective two way communication. Businesses should take a planned strategic approach and retain focus on the needs of their customers, the information they require and when they need it.

Switched on PC (SOPC) – @SOPCLisburn
Don’t spam people. Use social media sites for what they were created for, to interact and engage with your community and respond to enquiries.

BelfastTimes – @BelfastTimes
Don’t link your Twitter and Facebook accounts; they are two different mediums which require a different approach for tweets and posts.

Women in Business NI – @wibni
Encourage interaction with your followers by providing them with current and interesting information. If someone follows you, they must believe that they can benefit from the information you share so it’s up to you to deliver.

Glenovation – @glenovation
Social media for business is much different than social media for non-business activities. Before you connect with someone or an organisation look at their previous content to see if you think it is relevant or appropriate for your business. If you are posting information always include a hyperlink to the full story or back to your website when using social media.

Omagh Enterprise Company – @OmaghEnterprise
Develop a strategy that works for your business and use it on a daily basis. – @whatsonNI
When using social media stick to the guidelines and be as engaging as possible.

NIACE – Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre – @NIACE_Belfast
Set clear goals and guidelines on how you plan to use twitter to benefit your business. Ensure that all your tweets and retweets are in line with this.

Enterprise North West – @Enterprise_NW
Interact with people and don’t just promote your service/product. As the saying goes – “If you talked to people the way advertising talked to people, they’d punch you in the face.”

Bryson Charitable Group – @JohnatBryson
Interesting tweets attract interesting people, which build your network globally.

InterTradeIreland – @Inter_Trade
Social media should form part of your overall communications strategy for your business, not as just a ‘bolt-on’ or ‘tick-box’ exercise. Integrate social media with your key PR and marketing activity. Keep your messages simple and interesting – content is king.

NI Today® – @NITODAY
Get to know and understand your followers (they are people not numbers) and use your relationships to become part of what people are interested in. Social media can and will give you that competitive edge.

CIM Ireland – @CIM_Ireland
Promote your twitter handle on marketing materials – have a plan that will drive people to your twitter feed. If you can, get your twitter feed verified. Also, when possible tweet live from events, using a #hashtag if available.

Northern Ireland Tourist Board – @NITouristBoard
Social media can be a very valuable tool for quality improvement and to enhance your customer service. Use feedback to identify ways of improving your offering and build repeat business.

Independent Consultants & Adviser Group NI – @ICAGNI
Be helpful – if you’re helpful to your audience then you are engaging with them, social media is all about engagement.

Also, listen to what your online community are talking about, conduct polls and surveys, knowing what your audience think will help you achieve your long-term goals.

NI Executive – @niexecutive
Make the most of @mentions and #hashtags to increase the audience for your tweets. – @nibusinessinfo
Take time to plan your social media strategy, and focus on the achievable business output. Just ‘being on’ Twitter or Facebook can waste valuable time for you or your employees unless you have a defined purpose and a measureable result – whether that’s in sales referrals or brand awareness.